As a mom we design our entire lives around our kids. Not a single decision we make is without consideration of how it will affect them. I find this crazy to think about! Life before kids was more simple and calm than I could have imagined. (even though at that time I had soooo much going on....REALLY?)
Before kids, I could put off my grocery shopping for days and live off of Lucky Charms and eggs and toast. Now, I have to make sure I have a stocked fridge and pantry at all times.
Before kids, I would fit in my workout during the day whenever I felt like it. Before work, after work, late at night....it didn't matter to me as long as I did it. Now I'm up by 5am at the latest getting my sweat on or it won't happen.
Before kids, I would swing by the library, grab an armful of books and spend hours reading. Now I read a few pages in my book before the kids wake up in the morning or during a sports practice, if I'm lucky.
Before kids, if my boss needed me to stay late at work or come in early, I was there! Now I've left my full time job and created 2 successful businesses where I'm the boss.
Anyway....as I've gotten older and have two adorable sons which I have the privilege to raise, my life is COMPLETELY different. The way life was before isn't even that appealing to me if I really stop and think about it. So I am more than happy to alter my schedule each day (my entire life, really) if that means I get to spend my life as a mom.
As a control freak and type A personality, I decided long ago that it was in everyone's best interest if I learned how to become more flexible and go with the flow. I understood that if every decision I would make in my life was dictated by my kids somehow, I may as well bring them on board.
So they are on a journey with me and we are all enjoying it. Here's how I've done this:
Leaving my full time job and running my own business was the best decision I made to let me be the mom I dreamed of being. I wanted to drop the kids off at school and pick them up in the afternoon. If they were sick, I wanted to be able to care for them and take them to the doctor.
I also had to look at our schedules and weed out the nonsense and keep the good. In a busy world of school, sports, church, work, family time, and other activities, there is no room for fluff. We don't spend hours watching TV or playing video games because it doesn't bring us value. Instead, we do a family outing once a week. Maybe it's bowling or going to a park. Sometimes it's going out to dinner or to a pottery painting studio.
I involve my kids in my hobbies too. When I'm training for a half marathon, I talk with the kids about how my training is going. I encourage them to join me on a quick 1 mile run or to do my stretches. I explain to them how hard it is some days to get up and run but how amazing I feel when I'm crossing that finish line. I want my sons to see that I am determined, set goals and rise above the obstacles.
I value health and wellness so I hired a nutritional coach 3 years ago who helped my husband and me develop a healthy diet and exercise plan. As we were going through this new process, we discussed it with our kids and taught them what we were learning. They know about the importance of protein, carbs and fats and that you need to correct balance of them in your diet.
Whenever I start a new journey in life I explain what I'm doing to the kids so they can share in my experience. This has been a great bonding tool for us and it opens up lots of great conversations. I hope that it opens their eyes to all the possibilities that await them and that they are that much more ready to take on the world when they leave my nest.
Don't wait until your kids are older, or even worse, out of the house, to start your personal journey of self development. Your kids are watching you and learning from you every day. Don't be afraid to spend some time focusing on you and your needs and desires because it will teach them to care about themselves too.
Show your kids that you respect yourself and they will learn to respect themselves. As a parent you have an incredible amount of power, so use that power to build the best YOU that ever was. In return, your kids will learn how to build the best THEM.
At the end of the journey, they will thank you for taking them on the trip!
So tell me, where are you and your kids going? I hope it's totally amazing!!!!